Dissertation

Preschool teachers' perceptions about the importance of and experiences with young children's social-emotional development

This study examined the perceptions of four preschool teachers regarding the importance of students' social-emotional development, as well as the implications social-emotional assessment and curriculum had on their teaching. Research shows that social-emotional development at the preschool level is important because it contributes to later academic success and ability to build and maintain positive relationships (Epstein, 2014). A qualitative research design was employed to analyze the insights gained through the analysis of the preschool teachers' experiences with state-mandated assessments that focused mainly on preschoolers' social-emotional development. The researcher found that the use of two assessment tools, in addition to teacher-student interaction, offered further insight into a teachers' knowledge about how their interactions with their students build social-emotional development. Based on the findings, this study offers recommendations for the field, which include examining preschool teachers' teaching and assessment practices, especially when screening and assessing social-emotional competence.

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